A big thank you to everyone that attended the SightCare Conference 2024

Once again, independent practice owners and their teams enjoyed the opportunity to network and learn through a programme of keynote
speakers, hands on workshops, lectures, and peer group meetings. This year there was a particular emphasis on giving the whole practice team the
opportunity to share, learn and take away new ideas to improve their own performance and make a difference to their patients.

The conference kicked off on the Sunday afternoon with a vibrant peer to peer learning workshop on creating the perfect patient experience. Facilitated by SightCare Directors Sukie Woodhouse and Abi Page, delegates shared their ideas on how to improve the patient journey. From the
initial contact, through the welcome, the examination, dispensing and follow up care.

The afternoon was followed up with the first awards of our industry in 2024, the SightCare Awards,  which celebrates the success and hard work of
the independent sector. Delegates enjoyed a street food bonanza, after which the award winning blind Scottish comedian, Jamie MacDonald, entertained and warmed up the audience.

The awards themselves featured 28 shortlisted practices, contesting in categories such as, Customer Service Excellence won by Buchanan
Optometrists, Practice Team won by Brownbills Optometrists, Sustainable Practice Jonathan Partridge Optometrists, Marketing Excellence won by Feltham Eyecare, Community Practice won by Simpson Optometrists, and Frame Styling Practice won by VIP Eyewear. Many of the practices featured displayed unique and innovative ways of serving their patients and everyone enjoyed the celebration.

Picking up the Independent Practice of the Year award was Michael Offord Optometrist from Kingston Park, Newcastle UponTyne, going one better
after being a runner up in the  2023 Optician Awards.

Of particular note was A J Rawling Opticians of Ipswich, who despite hoping to win the Independent Practice of the Year award, received the
SightCare Special Achievement Award, after celebrating 100 years of providing eyecare to their local community.

The conference Monday kicked off with delegates gathering in the exhibition hall to catch up with friends and suppliers. The vibe in the
room was one of excitement as delegates from as far away as Northern Ireland, Aberdeen and Cornwall met up with fellow practitioners to talk about the independent sector. Networking is invaluable in any industry, and the SightCare Conference offers a prime platform for independent opticians to connect with their peers, suppliers, and experts.

Over 40 exhibitors, all supporters of the independent sector and partners in the SightCare Buying Group, showed off their latest products
and innovations, from equipment, contact lenses and of course their eyewear collections.

After opening the Conference, SightCare Chairman Martin White introduced the morning keynote speaker, Stephen Sykes. Sustainability is
always top of the agenda these days and the opening keynote “Climate Crisis – Why is it my problem”, did not disappoint. Stephen is co-chair of St Helens Climate Commission and an independent expert raising awareness of the impact of Climate Change. His talk explored a number of climate related issues, including the impact of climate change on independent practices today and some interesting insights into how NHS requirements might shape how practices may need to adapt in the future.

After more catching up in the exhibition, delegates headed off in all directions and the round of specialised workshops kicked off.

The closing keynoter speaker was kept under close wraps until the day, when SightCare unveiled international speaker and best-selling author, Richard McCann. Richard, founder of the iCan Academy, touched on a variety of themes including dealing with change, taking personal responsibility, leadership, appreciating what you have and inspired the delegates to take action on improving their businesses and relationships.


John French closed the two-day conference saying: “The SightCare conference has once again demonstrated what differentiates the
independent practice team from the rest. That is your ability to be agile and responsive to changes in the market. By coming together as a community you are learning, sharing and developing strategies to meet your evolving customer needs and market conditions. “

To get in touch with SightCare, you can email staceymead@sightcare.co.uk for an information pack and arrange a call to see if SightCare membership might be right for you.

Interactive workshop and breakout sessions

 SightCare Awards ceremony

Top Keynote Speakers

Exhibition of leading suppliers

Ideas, motivation and networking

Free evening social event and entertainment

Thank you to our partners